Coach Wedson Nyirenda is now talking tough ahead of next month’s crucial World Cup qualifier in Nigeria – saying no trick by Nigeria will stop his team from qualifying for next year’s World Cup in Russia.
The Chipolopolo of Zambia are now the only team who stand between Nigeria and Russia 2018 after their double win against Algeria earlier this month.
Nyirenda’s team have seven points, three points less than group leaders Nigeria, and should they avoid defeat on October 7 in Uyo, they will drag the qualifiers right up to the final day of action in November, when Nigeria will be away to Algeria and Zambia host Cameroon.
The Zambians lost 2-1 to the Eagles in Ndola last October, but they have since enjoyed a resurgence spearheaded by younger and more determined players so much so that they are now dreaming of a first-ever World Cup qualification.
Nyirenda has now warned the three-time African champions ahead of the decisive game in Uyo. “No matter the tricks that Nigeria will want to use (against us), they will not sway us from the aim of booking a ticket to the World Cup,” declared the coach, whose nickname is ‘Wada’.
The coach has also read the riot act to his call-ups for a training camp of players from the domestic league, insisting no player has an automatic place in his team. “I will not give any special treatment to anyone as every player has to prove his worth in my team,” he sounded.
On Monday in Lusaka, Zambia began a training camp with 26 players from the local league in preparation for the match in Nigeria.